Ben Askren doesn’t understand why Jake Paul is so popular, labeling the social media star as an “idiot.”
Askren, a former UFC welterweight and champion under ONE Championship, is scheduled to fight Paul on April 17th at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The fight will cost $49.99 on pay-per-view.
Along with his brother Logan, the Paul brothers have enormous followings on social media. Logan and Jake have a combined 44 million YouTube subscribers and 33 million Instagram followers between them. Askren struggles to see why those figures are so high, so he asked the kids on the youth wrestling team he coaches about it.
“I don’t think there’s any good answer,” Askren told MMA Junkie. “They’re all like, ‘He [Jake] does a lot of dumb things.’ Or, ‘He says crazy stuff.’ But it’s like, OK. So? So what? There’s nothing that … I don’t know. People who I liked growing up: Chris Farley, I think he’s hilarious; Chris Rock, I think he’s hilarious; Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by this man. People who I liked, I could name a reason why I liked that person. And with these guys, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.”
Paul put his YouTube career on the sidelines and turned his attention to boxing last year. The 24-year-old has two professional wins under his belt, one against a fellow YouTuber and the other against former NBA point guard Nate Robinson.
“Jake Paul’s gonna be an idiot before me, he’s gonna be an idiot after me,” Askren said. “This guy’s an idiot. That’s what he does. What kind of lesson? He’s too stupid to learn anything.”